CHIEF Government spokesperson Chushi Kasanda says political parties wishing to get live ZNBC coverage during campaigns should publicise their campaign programmes.
Kasanda said this when she was asked why ZNBC was only offering live coverage to President Hakainde Hichilema whenever he went to campaign in Kabwata constituency when the same was not extended to other political parties.
Kasanda said all media houses are informed and invited to cover the President whenever he is going to conduct campaign activities, advising other parties to do the same.
“When the Head of State is going into a campaign, all media houses are informed. We are told his programme and we advertise it and we call upon all media houses to come. So, the Patriotic Front should do the same, Socialist Party should do the same and call all media houses and we will be there. As a minister, I will just follow the instructions of the President where he has said he wants the freedom of the media. He wants everybody to be covered and we will cover everybody. Everybody is entitled to be covered by the pronouncement of the President whether it is Socialist Party, whether it is DP, PF, all they need to do is advertise,” Kasanda said.
“And I am sure you have seen of late on TV we have had a lot of political parties coming on ZNBC, which never happened in the past. Even those that are campaigning in Kabwata have brought their manifesto on ZNBC, unprecedented. So if you are going to invite us, we are at your service. They don’t come on their own, we invite them. So if they want to be covered, we will cover them. It is up to the different political parties as much as the timetable is there, they are also at liberty to call upon the service, like we do. It is not that ZNBC follows the President, we advertise and I don’t call upon ZNBC to say ‘go and do this’, no. It is not a directive from me but it is an advert that we put for all media houses which does not exclude ZNBC.”
And Kasanda said party cadres who were misbehaving were doing so at their own peril.
“Those cadres misbehaving are misbehaving at their own peril. The government has been very clear, we have laid down the rules, we said there would be a rule of law. It doesn’t matter who is involved but we will not allow cadreism. Even the time the President had gone to one of the markets, when one of the people said ‘cadres are still giving us problems’ I am sure you saw how swift he turned around. So, he has made it very clear that he wants to restore the rule of law and he doesn’t condone cadreism and violence and anybody found wanting will face the wrath of the law. As a new dawn government, we don’t condone cadreism. That is why we brought it to a stop the moment we were brought into office, we will not allow it,” said Kasanda.